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Travel Bag

Complaint Rating:  93 % with 361 votes
93% 361
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United States
I recently joined AARP partly because they offered a free travel bag, the promotional flier showed a photo of the bag, it looked very nice. I expected a substantial bag with a shoulder strap, a bag which could carry a significant amount of belongings in when you "travel." When it came, it did look like what was pictured on the flier, but it was tiny, about the size of a small camera bag. Not really useful in a practical way, and not what one normally thinks of as a travel bag. The photo of the bag on the flier didn't show a person or anything next to it so you'd know that it was tiny. That was deliberate, in my opinion. I doubt anyone would want this next to useless bag. In my opinion, this is about as close to a scam as you can get without it legally being considered a scam.

Complaint comments Comments (59) Complaint country United States Complaint category Other


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 22nd of Apr, 2009 by    +1 Votes
My name is Douglas Hayes...I responded to an ad online for membership in AARP. The ad stated that i would recieve a travel bag if i signed up. I joined AARP that day. I recieved membership card within 2 weeks. I also emailed AARP asking where the travel bag was. That was March 10, 2009. To this date i have heard nothing from them
 29th of Aug, 2009 by    0 Votes
I joined AARP thoughts that I would receive discounts. No discounts on hotel, airline tickets, disney tickets, no discounts at all. Couple of dollards off of regular price that was it. No saving.
 2nd of Feb, 2010 by    0 Votes
While I am glad that this complaint confirmed my suspicions, the picture that I received of a free travel bag shows it holding a passport, a cellphone, and an AARP membership card. The bag doesn't appear to be much bigger than the passport, so I went online for more information. I will not be renewing my membership to receive this bag.
 29th of May, 2010 by    0 Votes
I had the very same experience. I thought AARP was a completely reliable company but it seems I am just out of luck. Hard to trust anyone these days and I won't be continuing my and my spouse's memberships. What's the point if they don't help you when you need it.

Margaret Poynot
AARP member
 8th of Feb, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I received the same bag and in my picture it was as though it was a large bag. What a joke. I'm sure now that it must have been camera manifulation. Absolutely good for nothing. Even has strap attachments but no strap. I don't think this thing would hold a deck of cards. Talk about feeling embarrassed. It's nice to know that it's not only JQ public that is trying to rip off the elderly but now AARP is doing it also. This will certainly be my last time signing up.
 7th of Mar, 2011 by    -1 Votes
We also joined to receive the bag, expecting a bag like 3 ft high. What we got will maybe hold 2 cans of pop and a wallet in the back zipper part. They made it look like a good size bad with many uses. I even had to call weeks after we joined because we had not received it. It finally showed up like 3 weeks later. And i dont see much savings on anything else either, I doubt that we will rejoin when it comes up again.
 20th of Mar, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I didn't have much of a reason to join AARP. Most of the people that I knew didn't have much to show for their membership, except for the magazine, and their advocacy seems to not matter much in Capitol Hill (The current legislature seems bent on reducing benefits). But, I saw the travel bag and Ithought "let's give it a try." Well after the comments I have seen here, I know not to even try. Thank you.
 25th of Apr, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I too will admit that the "travel bag" which I received was considerably smaller than anticipated. That being said however, I will suggest that it is not "useless" as indicated in previous remarks. It can be quite useful for toting around smaller items. I will find a use for it in carrying around with me my medical, first aid and diabetic supplies on those longer day hikes. I'm sure that others with a little imagination will also find a beneficial use for this bag. The bag itself is approximately 2½ inches in depth (front to back), 5 inches in width (side to side) and about 6 inches in height. (top to bottom) The bag has 4 unique zippered compartments. Mine arrived with the provided "clip on" carrying strap. The bag seems well constructed and durable while maintaining a desireable appeal to the eye. It's perhaps a little smaller than your typical "fanny pack" but in my opinion far more appealing and attractive. I did not join AARP exclusively for the bag offer but it was a nice incentive bonus. I would suggest to AARP that perhaps they shoul re-phrase the term "Travel Bag" into something more appropriate such as a "Lite Tote Bag" or something which distinguishes it from a suitcase sized travel accessory. It's really more comparable to a small purse or fanny pack as I previously mentioned. Hope this will help clear up some discrepencies and confusion. ~Michael
 22nd of Jun, 2011 by    0 Votes
I feel like a complete idiot. I, too, was on the edge about joining AARP. But the travel bag made me decide to join. I was planning a short trip and a bag for "overnight", about large enough for some toiletries, a towel, and a change of clothes, sounded perfect.
I guess you know what I got. I admit not having taken the time to examine too carefully. But an "overnight" bag, in common English, is a bag that holds what one would need for a night, doesn't it?
Not sure I should have joined now since I have lost my trust in anything they now offer.
 30th of Jun, 2011 by    0 Votes
Unlike many of you I really liked the AARP travel bag and used it all winter until a seam came apart. In spite of the fact that it didn't hold up, I would like to have another one because it was such a handy camera/passport/money/cell phone/sunglasses bag. My AARP membership is paid up possibly for my entire lifetime so I hate to add another year to it just to get another bag. I've looked on the internet and have been unable to find anything like it -- especially for the price.
 25th of Sep, 2011 by    0 Votes
I too rejoined & thought the free bag that was shown would be great for traveling boy was I duped! The picture showed it holding water bottles & said it was insulated wrong wrong this bag is useless! AARP hasn't done anything for us no discounts just a magazine with promises need to get my money back!!
 1st of Oct, 2011 by    0 Votes
I'm glad I decided to look into customer reviews for this bag. Actually the picture that I received does show, among many other things, a bottle that resembles "Vitamin Water" in the bag where about the top 3 inches or so is sticking out of the bag. Needless to say, I am kind of shocked by some of the other stories I am reading about not only this bag but how certain people are being treated with their insurance and so forth from the AARP representatives. In fact I just went out to my mailbox and brought my renewal with enclosed check back in.
I'm going to think about renewing all together. I will continue to read a little more from the folks out there about AARP before I decide to do anything. Just my two cents.
 12th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
I joined AARP because they offered a free travel bag if I joined. The picture of the bag showed a banana, a fruit drink in a large plastic bottle, a candy bar and some mail that the bag was holding. Plus there was a set of keys attached to the bag. So all in all I'm thinking that the bag should be average travel bag size. But since I haven't ever received the bag yet, i got on their site and started reading some of the complaints from other people about the same thing. But they got their bag. But they said that the bag was not travel size at all. It was very small. Maybe enough room to hold a pack of cigarettes. That to me is false advertisement. Anyways, I would appreciate if you would send me the promo travel bag a.s.a.p. please!!!
 18th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
I understand that the bag was free. However, that being said, once mine came I had to go back to the Aarp site to even figure out what it was. Mine looks NOTHING like the picture. There is one outside compartment and it is bright red. I have NO idea how it would be useful for anything when you are traveling. Looks like something somebody could grab away from you. I certainly wouldn't put in my passport, etc.
 24th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
I am a tour director for a coach line, and I would LOVE to have that bag. Anyone offering freebies? I'm trying to contact AARP and see if they have any more. It would be perfect for my job!! Barb
 24th of Jan, 2012 by    +1 Votes
I just received my bag after thinking it only went to those joining and not renewing membership as I had done...
I wanted to find a picture of it to know how it was "presented" and for what use exactly because it is smaller than I remember it. Mine has an insulated "larger" compartment, with drawstring closure capability (maybe for a bottle of water and fruit...?) and then there's a smaller velcroed compartment on the outside of the larger one (maybe for cell phone and/or sun/reading glasses...?), an adjustable strap and a metal clip (for keys?)... I still can't think of a use for it, but I will - it was a "gift" after all - thank you - and as the saying goes...
 8th of Feb, 2012 by    +1 Votes
At least you all received a bag. I signed up for a 5 year membership. Continue to get solicitations to join and NEVER received a travel bag. Can't find a customer service number. When my membership expires, i will not renew. I can use my AAA card for discounts.
 5th of Mar, 2012 by     Best Advice +4 Votes
I don't understand all of the complaints about this bag -- the promotional leaflet clearly shows its size. There are car keys, a banana, a pen, etc. clearly pictured. It's a small bag intended to carry small things, and it hasn't been misrepresented.. "Insulated Travel Bag" hardly means a 21 inch rollaboard!! And it's free, so to call it "false advertising" or intended to "dupe" people or to expect a "3 foot high" bag doesn't make sense.
 7th of Mar, 2012 by    +1 Votes
Apparently AARP has been sending this crappy little good for nothing bag for a long time (looks like the complaints started in 2009 on here). The bag in the photo shows a bag with 3 zippered pockets and a large AARP logo on the bottom pocket. I renewed my membership only to receive an insulated miniature bag that as others have said, isn't good for much of anything, and they had the balls to send me my membership card with ANOTHER offer for the zippered bag when you give a gift membership. I emailed them a nice email asking for a replacement as I'd thought they'd shipped out the wrong one. Never heard back from them. They sent me renewal notices I don't know how many times per year when I was only a member for one year several years ago. I shouldn't have fallen for the ad, but I did because nowhere on it did it say anything about them having the option to replace the bag with a similar item at their discretion. I like their magazine, but I'm not happy with the way they communicate things to their CUSTOMERS.
 27th of Mar, 2012 by    0 Votes
It appears to me that there have been different bags represented in different media, i.e., TV, print and on-line.
Everything from a small wheeled carry-on type bag, back-pack type bag, grocery tote bag and two different bags called travel bags (small insulated red bag with draw string & black passport/cell phone/wallet bag).
I actually connected via phone with customer service to make my request for a bag and still was confused by what I was going to receive. Descriptions and dimensions of the items offered were not clear. I must admit that I should not complain that the item I received was not what I expected. After all, it was FREE. For those of us who may have thought about joining AARP and finally decided to join because we thought there was a freebee bonus to do so, a valuable lesson has been learned or relearned. I only joined for one year and will have that time to see if there will be any tangible benefit to continue membership beyond that.

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